Tag: log cabin

Sticking to Convictions

What do you do when faced with a disaster?

So many of us tend to disregard the emotional impact of negative things.  As though it shouldn’t matter how you feel.  We make practical excuses to disguise the emotional decision we have made.  But why?  Emotions are a huge part of us, and why should it be a bad thing to acknowledge that they inform our choices?

When faced with a major setback in a project, it is normal to want out. No matter how strong your desire and conviction to pursue your goal, your emotional commitment can be waylaid by a disaster.  Knowing that this is temporary, and allowing yourself to acknowledge the feelings but wait them out before making a decision to walk away, is the responsible way to handle it.  Throwing up your hands and making what could be a solvable problem into a permanent defeat is the cowardly way.

The work of coming back from catastrophe is in itself a confirmation of your commitment, and a reaffirmation of your conviction.  Even if you do it badly, just the act of doing it puts your heart back where it needs to be.

Sometimes that work is made worse by the degree of the disaster.  Sometimes, it’s hard, back-breaking, filthy work.  I wrote about such an event that happened to me shortly after I started work on my log cabin.  You can read about it here.


Touchin’ Stuff

I like touchin’ stuff.  Do you?

I remember the first time I touched a bass guitar with the intent to use it.  I was twelve.  Nothing I did sounded good, and the songs I was learning were ones I didn’t like much.  But there was a complete sensory experience involved in having the instrument strapped to me, and laying my hands on it.  The weight of it.  The finished wood of the neck.  The strum in the amplifier.  The smell of metal on my fingers.

It is intoxicating; the experience of interfacing with a reality that holds a potential for you.  Linking with a corporeal present that you could bend into the shape of an as yet impossible future.

I wrote about this in my log cabin chronicles this week.  You can check it out here.


Welcome to Salamander City

Greetings, everyone. Thanks for dropping by The Octopode today. If it’s your first visit here, I hope you’ll take a look around and see what’s available. There’s music, and fiction, and this blog, which contains many discussions, rants, and explanations of things that have worked their way into my brain and begged to be worked back out of it and into words. In the months leading up to this post I’ve talked a lot about psychology, morality, and goal-oriented thinking. But now I have a new topic to present to you, that I have long anticipated discussing here.

Today’s blog post will be the first in what I hope to be many, though mayhaps not consecutive, posts about Salamander City, which is the name I’ve given to a couple acres of forest in the Adirondacks that I came to own in 2015. The plot has on it an old, unfinished log cabin that has been neglected for a long time. It is my goal to complete, restore, and build out the property into a getaway, second home, and emotional oasis.

I know that a lot of you out there can relate to my desire to do this. You may also relate to me in that I have very little knowledge of woodworking, landscaping, or construction. Aside from a few simple projects I completed in woodshop way back in high school, I came into this challenge with no know-how. What I did know is that I was capable of learning. And the rewards for tackling something this huge and so far from my working understanding would be enormous. I just had to focus, think, plan, work, and learn by trial and error. We’re all capable of this, but I find that not many of us are willing to admit that.

It’s my hope that you’ll delight in reading about the project and what it means to me as I move forward with it and, in time, reach my goal. Along the way I’ll discuss the work itself. The tools, the materials, the practical methods. I’ll describe the problems I encounter, the plans in development, and the accomplishments, as they come. I plan to share pictures and even video to better transport you here and show you what I’m up to. And of course, foster discussion. So many of you can offer me real advice and helpful instruction. My course is often altered and improved by comments that come from unlikely places.

So, let me wrap this up by sending you to a new page set up here at The Octopode for Salamander City, where you’ll find an introduction, some pictures, and over time a growing menu of blog entries like this one that are about the project. I hope you’ll return again and again!

Click on the cabin to go there now: